Debate and Discussion

Comic Sexuality?
DAJB at 3:36AM, Sept. 29, 2007
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ozoneocean
trevoramueller
Back to comic sexuality, what about characters who wear “skin tight” outfits?
The point of that is to draw the characters naked without actually having them naked :)

Why make them “naked” in that way? Well, tradition is one reason. Superheroes are direct descendants from Greek heroes from Myth. And then o fcourse there's the continuing tradition within the culture itself. You draw them that way because everyone's always drawn them that way: that's how you draw them, that's how they look!

Whether super heroes are modern “myths” or not is a whole separate area for debate. There are many who argue that super hero stories fullfil none of the cultural functions of a myth and are, therefore, no more than escapist entertainment. Personally, I think you can argue either case. In fact, Chapter 4 of Shades specifically has a line which posits that, at least in some respects, they most definitely are. (No don't go looking for it now - Chapter 4 isn't online at DD yet!) Either way, I don't believe that's a large part of the reason why they tend to be drawn effectively naked.

I believe the real reason lies in the “everyone's always drawn them that way” argument. Siegel and Shuster designed Superman's costume around the skin-tight outfits worn by the circus strong men of their day and that's been the template ever since. It's become one of the accepted “norms” of the genre.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
mlai at 7:16AM, Sept. 29, 2007
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DAJB
(No don't go looking for it now - Chapter 4 isn't online at DD yet!)
m(_)m Respect. m(_)m

It's a norm in comics, but not in manga. My earliest recollections of heroes were of them wearing black trenches many years before Matrix made it cool. Sure manga has its Ultraman types, but you had true choice.

I think it's why manga artists typically draw clothing much better than many recent comics artists who aren't classically trained.

Yeah, I personally hate skintights.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
crazyninny at 6:36PM, Sept. 29, 2007
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I do have to agree, drawning skin tight clothing is easy, and can save you when your on a tight deadline.

But, I can really feel and connect with a character when they dress in a way that I can relate. *Getting skin suits are so hard these days. @_@*

BUT… I wouldn't say no to letting my eyes roam on a skin suit… If you know what I mean. >=D
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM
freefall_drift at 9:42AM, Oct. 8, 2007
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mlai
Female:
10. Not vampire.
What? isn't Elvira sexy? (grin)
Freefall Drift - A sci fi space opera of a starship's mission of stopping the Endless Kings.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
freefall_drift at 9:52AM, Oct. 8, 2007
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I took it the next level, and didn't bother with the “skin tight uniform” and let me tell you, it's hard to keep it “clean” enough that I could show the comic to my mother.
Someone
…There's just something special about a sexy woman who can kick a man's butt who is twice her size, and hack into computers, and recite important history in an instant.
Don't forget stacked! She has to be proportioned like Laura Croft or Power Girl. Remember when DC put Black Canary in a “realistic” costume? That only lasted a short time before they put her back in the fishnet.
Freefall Drift - A sci fi space opera of a starship's mission of stopping the Endless Kings.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
CoyoteLongshot at 3:01PM, Oct. 13, 2007
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I agree that it's a lot more in the way they act than what they look like. I've noticed, in some anime (and manga), that the female character(s) seems to be there just for a pair of breasts (Boosts ratings, you know :)) and they're all stale stereotypes with no character development whatsoever. Which is why I avoid those certain ones.

They need to have something cool about them, something that makes them interesting or mysterious. Something that makes the viewer want to know more about them, you know? But even more than that, they need to have an attractive personality. The characters I really remember are the ones that broke out of the norm, the ones that weren't just another “Shy, quiet healer girl” or “Defensive, aggressive tomboy chick but inside she's actually really sweet blah blah blah”… you know the type.

The point is, for me it's all about the personality.
I'm on the Hairway to Steven, baby!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:47AM
crazyninny at 7:19PM, Oct. 13, 2007
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Personality is also a big win. I hate it when characters have to be sterotipical to what they look like. If the character looks like a jock, then he shall be a jock! *Bam! If the character looks like the door next door, then so be it! *Bam!*

Thats just to easy. If someone really takes the time, and develope and make characters that have orginal looks, and personalities, than that story is always worth looking at.

Plus, another pet peeve of mine is when characters look the same. @_@ Like in Red String… They all… Look the same… If I was to shave all the characters hair off, you would never be able to tell them apart.
And when their personalities are the same. Like *Shudders.* Fruit Basket… I get it, YOU ALL HAVE EMO PROBLEMS. GET OVER IT.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM
Hawk at 11:28AM, Oct. 14, 2007
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crazyninny
Personality is also a big win. I hate it when characters have to be sterotipical to what they look like. If the character looks like a jock, then he shall be a jock! *Bam! If the character looks like the door next door, then so be it! *Bam!*

Thats just to easy. If someone really takes the time, and develope and make characters that have orginal looks, and personalities, than that story is always worth looking at.

I think sometimes the thought process is going in the reverse of what you're descibing. For instance, the comic author decideds what kind of character they need for a role (i.e. their personality) and then builds them visually to reinforce that personality.

The solution would probably be the same: design characters that don't have stereotypical looks and personalities. Make them an archetype with a twist and have that twist be apparent in their design.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
bobhhh at 1:06PM, Oct. 14, 2007
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Hawk
crazyninny
Personality is also a big win. I hate it when characters have to be sterotipical to what they look like. If the character looks like a jock, then he shall be a jock! *Bam! If the character looks like the door next door, then so be it! *Bam!*

Thats just to easy. If someone really takes the time, and develope and make characters that have orginal looks, and personalities, than that story is always worth looking at.

I think sometimes the thought process is going in the reverse of what you're descibing. For instance, the comic author decideds what kind of character they need for a role (i.e. their personality) and then builds them visually to reinforce that personality.

The solution would probably be the same: design characters that don't have stereotypical looks and personalities. Make them an archetype with a twist and have that twist be apparent in their design.

That's what I liked so much about The Watchmen. Everyone was flawed and no one conformed to classic type except the two most screwed up characters, Ozzymandis and Dr. Atomic,and the former was and insane genius and the presence of the omnipotent latter served to invalidate the others.

Even the comic sexuality was turned on its ear by introducing sexual assault and negative stereotyping.

I suppose sexual stereotypes are like all stereotypes in that it functions as a shortcut to establishing major points of character, if you rely just on that you get no depth or you have to work harder to distinguish your hero from a multitude of others.

It's frustrating to have the sole physical attributes that distinguish characters in a book be their hair color and outlandish outfit. Tank Girl is a good example of a character that sidesteps classic volutpuous comic stereotypes and charts its own ideas about beauty and gender identity. Personally I feel that although male muscle heads and hour glass super babes are fun to ogle, but they do a disservice to even the best realized characters in a script.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM

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